I have been an RCN member for more than 20 years, and have been involved as a branch chair, branch secretary, steward, health and safety rep, board member, and Council member. I was also chair of the RCN’s Trade Union Governance Group.
Last year I was honoured to be given the RCN Award of Merit. I was shocked when I got a letter from Jane Clark, the RCN Group Secretary, to tell me I had received the award. No one had mentioned it to me so I knew nothing about it. I thought the letter was about someone I had nominated myself.
I have to say that it gives you a great sense of pride when you know this award is given on the recommendation of your colleagues and peers. I was humbled.
I have stepped back from my involvement with the RCN as I near the end of my career, but still remain active within the branch and have continued to work as a member of the centenary project board, although sadly our final meeting is in March.
The highlight of the centenary year was the RCN Yorkshire & the Humber service of celebration at York Minster; this was the first event where I had worn my Award of Merit medal externally.
I would encourage every member to recommend one of their colleagues for the Award of Merit. The process is not difficult and I know there are many more RCN members out there who deserve to be nominated for this award.